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Moral Anthropology: A Critique

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Volume 16

Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis

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Moral Anthropology

A Critique

Edited by Bruce Kapferer and Marina Gold

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208 pages, Pocket Size 4.25'' x 7''

ISBN  978-1-78533-868-7 25% OFF! $14.95/£10.95 $11.21/£8.21 Pb Published (April 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-869-4 eBook

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“The thirteen texts cobbled together in this light book (physically, not intellectually) are fairly short but no less penetrating in their analytical insight for that. They hit hard at the discomforts and inner tensions of contemporary anthropological theory and practice, making Moral Anthropology: A Critique mandatory reading for anyone puzzled by the buzzing if problematic area of inquiry that is the anthropology of moralities.” • Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society


A development in anthropological theory, characterized as the 'moral turn', is gaining popularity and should be carefully considered. In examining the context, arguments, and discourse that surrounds this trend, this volume reconceptualizes the discipline of anthropology in a radical way. Contributions from anthropologists from around the world from different theoretical traditions and with expertise in a multiplicity of ethnographic areas makes this collection a provocative contribution to larger discussions not only in anthropology but the social sciences more broadly.

Bruce Kapferer is Honorary Professor University College London and Professor Emeritus, University of Bergen, where he is Director of the Egalitarianism Project supported by an ERC Advanced Grant. Has published widely on South Asia, Africa and Australia where he has done extensive anthropological fieldwork.

Marina Gold is research fellow in the department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, where she is part of the ERC Advanced Grant Egalitarianism Project. Her publications include articles in Social Analysis, and the Bulletin of Latin American Research and a recent monograph based on her research in Cuba, titled People and State in Socialist Cuba: Ideas and practices of Revolution (Palgrave 2015).

Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology


Introduction: Reconceptualising the Discipline


Chapter 1. Why I Will Not Make It as a ‘Moral Anthropologist’
Don Kalb

Chapter 2. Steps Away from Moralism
Martin Holbraad

Chapter 3. Not Beyond Good and Evil: The Ethics of Anthropology and the Anthropology of Ethics
Kirsten Bell

Chapter 4. An Obscure Desire for Catastrophe
Rohan Bastin


Chapter 5. Facts, Values, Morality, and Anthropology
Christopher C. Taylor

Chapter 6. Moral Anthropology, Human Rights and Egalitarianism or The AAA boycott
Marina Gold

Chaprter 7. Anthropology’s Atavistic Turn : An Animist Perspective
Caroline Ifeka


Chapter 8. Empathy, As Affective Ethical Technology and Transformative Political Praxis
Elisabeth Kirtsoglou & Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

Chapter 9. The Question of Ethics and Morality
Terry Evens


Chapter 10. The Horizon of Freedom and Ethics of Singularity: The Social Individual and the Necessity of Reloading the Spirit of 1968
Jakob Rigi

Chapter 11. Situating Morality
Jonathan Friedman

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